Plumbing Basic Tips

Toilets

Periodically inspect around the base of all toilets in the home for signs of water damage or soft floors. To do this, you'll need to stand over the toilet and rock back and forth on each foot.

What do you notice?

Does the floor feel spongy? If so, these are signs of water damage. If possible, try asking the previous owner about any problems they had while living there.
        

Next, flush the toilet:

What do you notice?

Does the toilet flush slowly? If it does, this is a sign that the toilet jet holes are clogged with lime. In the greater Denver area most homes have hard water which causes lime build up. It could also be flushing slowly due to an obstruction in the trap. Does the toilet keep running after it's been flushed? Then, you might have a defective flapper. If the toilet flushes quickly and efficiently then move onto inspecting the bathtubs...
Bathtubs

Every so often check for leaky or loose tiles because any bit of moisture can lead to mold. Did you know that large quantities of mold growth may cause nuisance odors and health problems for most people. It especially affects infants, children, elderly people, pregnant women , individuals with: respiratory conditions, allergies and asthma. It also tends to affect persons with weakened immune systems.

You'll also need to press on the walls where they come into contact with the tub.

Is it soft? If so, water has caused damage to the tiles.

Next, fill up the tub using the tub faucet then the shower faucet.

How is the water pressure in each drain?

If it's fast and hard then the pipes are most likely in good condition. If it's slow and weak then this could mean that the system needs to be flushed out or a replacement of valves is needed.

After the tub is filled with water, open up the tub drain.

Does the water drain out quickly? If so, this is a good sign. Does the water drain out slowly? Then hair could be obstructing the line or regular sludge and build up. To remedy the problem the line will need to be hydro-jetted or snaked.

Water Supply Piping

You'll also want to turn on the water in the bathtub and the kitchen sink, make sure they are both running water at the same time.
       

While they are both running, do you notice a reduction of volume in the water coming out of the faucets? If so, this could mean that the pipes need to be replaced because of calcium, mineral and rust deposits in service water lines due to older galvanized piping. Most homes in the Greater Denver Area and surrounding areas have galvanized plumbing.
Water Heater

What is the date on the water heater?

When reading the serial number the first four digits are the month and year it was made. You may ask yourself, how many years does a water heater tend to last?

The average life expectancy of water heaters are 12 to 15 years. If your water heater is over 15 years old it will need to be replaced.

Does the water heater vent tie into the chimney?

If so, verify that the chimney is lined. You can verify this by looking for a metal liner that sticks out of the top of the chimney. If there is a lower level of the home, make sure there is a drip tee sticking out of the chimney.


Is the garbage disposer working properly?

If not, look for the red reset button located under the garbage disposer and press it firmly. If this doesn't fix the problem then garbage disposer may need to be replaced.

Are the ice maker and dishwasher drains working properly?

Are the water lines connected properly with shut off valves prior to each fixture? You can use a flashlight to check the washing machine hoses for rupture. Next, turn valves on and off to test for leaks.

If you have encountered any of the problems listed above, you may call us for a professional home inspection.


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